About the Brafferton Building
An important and early contribution to the history of Virginia's architecture.
The Brafferton bears witness to the earliest instance of private philanthropy in the history of William & Mary. Designed to house the College's Indian School, the building was constructed with funds from the estate of Robert Boyle, the famous English scientist. Boyle's will stipulated that £4,000 sterling should be employed for "pious and charitable uses." His executors purchased Brafferton Manor in Yorkshire, England, part of the annual income from which was used to build and support the Indian school.
Second in age to the Wren Building, the Brafferton was designed as the first of two flankers to the main college building, preceding its near-twin, the President's House, by almost a decade. This placement signaled a reorientation of the College toward Virginia's newly established capital city of Williamsburg and was, in the words of one historian, "the most striking example up to this time, either in England or America, of collegiate planning as an integral component of a grand urban design."
In both its original and restored states, the Brafferton is an important and early contribution to the history of Virginia's architecture.
Learn more about the Brafferton and William & Mary's historic campus: